Genuine Inclusion or Superficial Change The Gray Whale Controversy

As the above describes, within Mexico there is a movement for greater recognition of diverse interests concerning environmental issues. However, a lack of transparency and minimal access to information, the weak supervision from Congress and society, and the capacity of powerful bureaucrats to undermine many management reform efforts leaves many people questioning how these new tools for public management have been put into practice. Some critics maintain that they are utilized simply for superficial administrative reform [28].

As is the case in every country, the level of inclusion of diverse interests varies, depending on the issue at hand. Within Mexico, there are numerous cases that substantiate the proposition that the change to include more interests within environmental negotiations is simply a superficial pretense [27,29,30]. However, on the other side of this discussion and in support of Mexican advancement in multi-party bargaining in environmental negotiations, there are a few cases, such as the protection of the gray whale, that attest to Mexico's genuine progress toward the meaningful inclusion of diverse parties in multi-agency environmental negotiations. This inclusion has occasionally occurred not only in the so-called bargaining phase, but also with the actual decision-making surrounding environmental concerns. It is this movement toward greater inclusion that is discussed next.

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Negotiating Essentials

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